Business Insurance Coverage for Infectious Disease

Business Insurance Coverage for Infectious Disease

Is there coverage for infectious disease? With sustained concern over the spread of infectious disease, businesses of all sizes are looking at two primary risk management issues: hygiene protocols and liability insurance for illness.

Most general liability policies have a bacteria or virus exclusion, so your liability for third-party sickness acquired through your facility would not be covered in most cases. In some states, measures have been adopted to indemnify businesses that follow public health hygiene mandates, but that doesn’t preclude legal costs from lawsuits by patrons, visitors or workers who become ill.

Regarding employees who become sick, workers compensation insurance also typically excludes coverage for infectious disease that is incidentally spread at the workplace. While some states have instituted a rule that COVID-19 must be covered in some occupations unless it is shown that the disease was acquired outside of work, many have not, and other viruses aren’t addressed at all. Additionally, in states that have mandated coverage, the measures are temporary.

There are new commercial insurance policies being offered, especially for workers on travel duty, but the spread of sickness at the workplace remains largely uninsurable. Your best course of action is to follow excellent hygiene standards and comply with state disease-control mandates to reduce your exposure to illness liability claims.

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